Harbour Apartments construction restarts

The Harbour Apartments construction site in May. Picture: ADAM McLEANWork has resumed on the Harbour Apartments construction site opposite WIN Stadium and developer Kollco Holdings believes it will be full steam ahead within weeks.
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Workers downed tools on May 1 when the contract with Camarda & Cantrill was terminated because the builder could not meet its contract obligations.

Kollco has since been working closely with unions representing disgruntled contractors owed more than $1.2 million and new builder Advanced Constructions to get the project back on track.

Chief operating officer of Kollaras Property Holdings, John Kollaras, told the Mercury there were workers on site this week, mainly meeting WorkCover and occupational health and safety obligations, before full-scale construction recommences.

Mr Kollaras said he had been involved in productive discussions with the CFMEU, and some of the subcontractors who had previously been working on the site were returning.

Those conversations were continuing, he said.

Subcontractors were left in the lurch when Camarda & Cantrill bailed out of the Harbour Apartments project, on the corner of Burelli and Harbour streets.

The Illawarra company was placed in the hands of liquidators owing more than $4 million.

Kollco Holdings Pty Ltd said it was in the process of “quantifying the amount of loss” it was owed due to the “abandonment” of the contract.

Its website says the high-rise will offer single level two and three-bedroom apartments with outdoor living and spacious balconies, and feature “cosmopolitan style” with coastal views.

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Find yourself feeling crappy? Try these five things

Georgia van Tiel and Carla McMillan of Bodypass get their happy on. Photo: Robert Saponja.We all go through times in our lives when life doesn’t go the way we expected.
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Things happen thatthrow us in the deep end and we find ourselves in situations we can’t actually change but that make us feel … crappy.

Perhaps this has to do with work. Or maybe you have a few days in a row where you had big plans and you get sick so you’re forced to take time off. Maybe you budgeted for something that’s become more expensive and you have to put some things on the back-burner.

These are all situations that are out of our control, yet they can send even the happiest people around the bend and bring on negative emotions.

If the situation itself can’t be controlled, then why do we feel crappy about it?

It’s the way that your mind reacts to it – or rather – the way your subconscious thought pattern ‘tells’ you to react. With exasperation, frustration, anger or hopelessness.

If you can become more conscious, then you can change the way you relate to a situation and that will change the outcome of something you would have perceived as negative to something that beings welcome surrender, feels calm or simply ‘meant to be’. It is what it is.

When we are overcome by our attachment to an idea we have in our minds about what things are supposed to be like, we spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or living with the future in mind and this does little for our state of fulfillment in the now.

“The true definition of mental illness is when the majority of your time is spent in the past or future, but rarely living in the realism of NOW.”

How though, do we change the way we see things in our minds to make the days we live happier? Here’s fiveeasy ways.

1. Recognise the emotion.

Instead of sinking into the pits of ‘should have, could have, would have’… be conscious of what it is you’re feeling. Is it despair, anger, frustration or loneliness? The emotion is there for a reason, even if it is created by the mind.

Give it a little room to be … feel it. We rarely, if ever, give our emotions a place to be recognised before we push them down and pretend they don’t exist. How many times has someone asked you what was wrong, only for you to say ‘nothing’, even though there are 15 things getting you down. Own the emotion and it is much easier to send that baby flying away.

2. Make a conscious decision to wave goodbye to that emotion, it’s fleeting.

Only you can make the decision to wallow in it – the emotion itself doesn’t make the choice to stay, you have the responsibility of control over it.

Picture a baby who cries for an instant over a toy being snatched away. Is that baby still upset about it an hour later? No. A baby probably isn’t too fazed about losing the toy even three minutes later. We forget to live in the moment like a child does and this is something we’d be much better off doing.

3. Talk yourself through it.

With pushing our emotions under the rug comes a constant habit of deafening our ears to our own voice. Many people today who’re dwelling in the past or existing only thinking about the future don’t have a good relationship with themselves. An excellent way of dealing with set-backs is to have a quick reality ‘check-in’ with yourself.

Phrases like “will my worrying change the future?”, “everything will work out as it needs to”, “What is this lesson here to teach me?” or “things are as they should be” will help you to relax and surrender in crappy situations.

4. Become comfortable with uncertainty.

As adults we hold onto negative emotions as if they will comfort us, and then many of us feel secure or safe feeling crappy because we’ve identified with that feeling for so long. It’s time to give yourself permission to be okay with uncertainty. The better you can respond to uncertainty in life the more opportunity you have to feel fulfilled because guess what? Life is never certain and we simply can’t control everything.

5. Breathe.

How many times in our lives do things happen out of our control and we go from whoa to CRAZY in .2 seconds flat? Unleashing fury and vitriol or helpless anxiety reaction over ourselves or anybody around us. And the one thing we forgot to do is breathe. Giving ourselves a small pocket of breath allows us to calm any instant negative reaction and follow the steps above.

An excellent breathing technique that calms nerves and reduces physical and emotional pain is the following. Try it today in a moment of stress or anxiety.

A slow count of four while breathing in, then count of four holding the breath. Then a slow count of four breathing out out and hold the breath out for four seconds and repeat.

What’s left?

A calmer, happier person who can roll with the ebbs and flows of life with peace, purpose and a strong belief that they are right where they should be.

JoinBodypassfor a variety of wellness classes to help you bounce back.​Alice Nichollsis a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Life Transformation Coach.

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Hoverboard charging stations? Library vision sought

Next generation: Acting Wollongong lord mayor Chris Connor with Thirroul toddler Tom Giles at the Thirroul Library. Picture: ROBERT PEETWollongong’s future libraries could have hoverboard charging stations, no physical buildings or just a lot of good old-fashioned reading nooks, according to the city’s acting lord mayor Chris Connor.
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Wollongong City Council, which is preparing to change its book services over the next seven years, wants residents to dream up their ideal public library.

On Monday, the organisation launched its Beyond Books strategy, and has called for public comment before staff begin developing the future library plan.

“As part of our work on this strategy, we’re looking at a range of questions including whether there are even physical buildings housing libraries in the future,” Cr Connor said.

“Or do we have more but smaller branch libraries? These are really interesting concepts and we want to hear what the community thinks our libraries should be like in 2022.”

As part of the consultation, residents are asked to imagine walking into a library in 2022 and to respond through the council’s website on why they’re there, who they’re with, where the library is and what activities/services the council should provide.

The council is also asking people to gather with friends or in book clubs to talk through the same questions and reply to the council by the end of the month.

Later in the year, library workers will hold stalls at Dapto Street Fair and Spring into Corrimal and will host a series of community workshops to develop a draft library strategy.

This will go on exhibition early next year, the council said.

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Attempted murder case before the court

A TAMWORTH woman is likely to stand trial accused of the attempted murder of a teenage girl earlier this year.
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Chloe Galbraith did not appear in Tamworth Local Court yesterday due to a technical difficulty with the video link, but was supported in court by family.

The court heard a pre-committal report had been sent by the DPP solicitor to the DPP director’s chambers and further time was needed before the case could proceed.

Galbraith’s solicitor, Rae Parker, asked for a brief two week adjournment to move the case along, telling the court it would head to trial.

“Well I was ready to commit for a trial today,” she said.

But the short adjournment was opposed by the DPP, who said it would not be ready in time.

“Your honour, we’re not in a position to do that,” DPP solicitor Fiona Irwin told the court.

“We do need a bit more time.”

Galbraith, 19, remains in Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre, after her bid for Supreme Court bail was adjourned last week in Sydney.

She is charged with the attempted murder of a 17-year-old girl in a late-night fight at a Queen St block of units in Tamworth on March 30.

Galbraith allegedly stabbed the teenage girl in the abdomen with a 30cm knife and police will allege she told the victim, if she was going away, “[she] was going away for murder”.

She is also charged with the malicious damage in relation to a broken window at the units but is yet to enter any formal pleas.

An extensive brief of evidence including crime scene statements, footage from a mobile phone and medical reports have already been served on Galbraith’s legal team.

Galbraith has been in custody since she was arrested on the night of the alleged incident but a Supreme Court bail application will be heard in October.

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Farm crime is a big concern

THERE has been much to examine and analyse in this week’s report released by the University of New England (UNE) about rural crime.
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More specifically, the study conducted by UNE was about crime on farms and looked at the trends evident since a similar 2001 study.

Of major concern will be the finding that while crime might have fallen in most other places, it hasn’t on our farms.

In fact, more than seven of every 10 of those farmers caught in the survey – and there were some 3160 of them – had experienced some type of crime on their place in the past 12 years.

There have been more incidents of trespass and illegal hunting and theft of fuel and stock.

Alarmingly, and overall, only about half of all farm thefts or crime are actually reported to police.

And that, according to New England local area commander Superintendent Fred Trench, poses more of a problem for police.

He’s encouraged farmers and those on the land to shed any form of reluctance about reporting suspicious behaviour or their theories of suspect crime.

It is only through being armed with that intelligence that the force can in fact put into place local strategies that can target the crime, he says.

Farm crime invariably pops up with regularity – not just a few jumbucks from the top paddock, but also fuel, firearms, household items, prize breeding stock, machinery and farm vehicles.

They disappear, and often their reports come eons after they might have occurred, because they’re isolated or not missed for ages, or simply overlooked until there’s a roundup or reckoning for sale.

UNE Associate Professor Elaine Barclay’s survey found that in the main farmers failed to report crimes because they were too difficult to prove, or they were not considered serious.

She also discovered that sometimes there was uncertainty over whether a crime had actually occurred and many farmers thought it was a waste of time reporting crimes because there was little the police could or would do.

And while many of us might just think farm crime is purely a financial cost and pressure, it isn’t. It has wider impacts, psychologically and socially.

Neighbourhood thefts cause rifts in the community and can isolate victims of crime.

Some large thefts are committed by organised crime networks.

Some create more suspicion in their communities, of a local nature, of individual suspects.

The results are food for thought for many. And a basis for strategic action for some.

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Antiques fair hailed as one of the best

BARGAIN HUNT: Collectors from across the region descend on the Tamworth Town Hall in search of curios to add to their collections. Photos: Geoff O’Neill 020815GOC06EXHIBITORS hailed the Tamworth Antique and Collectables Fair the finest in regional Australia, after yet another successful event.
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Everyone from the merely curious to the serious collector was catered for during the annual fair’s 30th edition earlier this month.

Jewellery, vases, guns, furniture, coins, telephones, paintings, silver, clocks and taxidermied animals were just some of the items on display.

The fair, which is a major fundraiser for Oxley High School, attracts some of the best antique dealers from NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania.

Robert Neilsen, of Toowoomba’s Roundabout Antiques, said it was his fifth year exhibiting at the fair and it was always a delight to be back.

“It’s an exceptionally well-run fair. It draws people from a large area and I would go as far to say it’s the best-quality regional antique fair in Australia,” he said.

Silk Art proprietors Ross and Helen Pye showcased their stunning collection of intricate Chinese hand-made silk embroideries for the first time in Tamworth.

Mr Pye said the artworks, which are made using techniques developed over more than 3000 years, had proved a hit with the locals.

“It’s been brilliant,” he said. “They all want to learn about it because it’s so new to most people … and we’ll definitely be back next year.”

Fair organiser Euan Coutts said numbers were up on last year and people seemed more willing to part with their hard-earned dollars on items that took their fancy.

“We’ve had a really good mix of exhibitors this year and quite a few people have travelled considerable distances to be here,” he said.

Tamworth antique aficionado Vivienne Halstead, who tragically lost her entire collection in a house fire several years ago, made a few small purchases on Sunday.

“I just love to see all the old things that we used to use as little ones – like the telephones,” she said.

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Teenagers dig in to deal with a day of disaster

TUNNEL TRAINING: Danielle Hunt from Careers Network, centre, with Oxley High School students Lahkeisha Cook, Kate Cook, Harry Ellison and Josh Trewern doing a tunnel rescue. Photo: Barry Smith 110815BSC02SEVERAL teenagers were involved in the rescue of a body from a series of tunnels in Tamworth yesterday – but they were SES cadets, the tunnels were temporary and the body was a mannequin.
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About 40 high school students took part in an activity day at the Jewry St sporting fields, the culmination of a five-week cadetprogram.

They practised skills such as rescue roping and haulage techniques, saving someone trapped under a trailer, land searches and navigating through a tunnel.

Namoi region deputy controller Heath Stimson said all the teens seemed to have enjoyed the day.

“Participation has been really high today – that’s how you know it’s going well with young people, I suppose,” he said.

The students were from Oxley, Tamworth and Gunnedah high schools.

Another 30 from Wee Waa and Narrabri are working through the program and will have their activity day in a few weeks.

Mr Stimson said the cadet program was in its sixth year in this region.

He said it had several benefits: it informed young people about the role and scope of the SES; taught them leadership, teamwork and communication skills; showed them the dos and don’ts before, during and after an emergency, and gave them a taste of life as an SES volunteer.

He said some teens joined soon after completing the program, but most went “back to their school, sporting and social lives” and came back a few years later to the idea of joining.

“We do see it as a successful thing,” he said.

“Above all else, it’s about making the community aware of what we do and how we do it.

“In an emergency or disaster, these guys will champion the SES.”

For more information on volunteering, call 1800 201 000.

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Busy weekend a record for Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service

THE Westpac Rescue Helicopter has had its busiest weekend on record, after several emergency missions.
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And the Tamworth-based chopper hasn’t stopped, with further airlifts since a record-breaking 24 hours on Saturday.

Since Saturday, the chopper has flown three patients to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital, including a young man involved in a crash near Armidale, an elderly Inverell woman with a cardiac complication and a Wee Waa teenager injured in a polocrosse match.

The helicopter was also tasked to a secondary mission at Tingha, while on Sunday, an elderly woman was flown to Tamworth hospital after her car rolled at Bellata.

She has since been airlifted to Gold Coast Hospital for further treatment.

Service general manager Richard Jones says the region’s rescue helicopter’s missions have significantly increased since a doctor-paramedic team joined the crew in early March.

“Now that the Tamworth base is manned 24/7, our flight team has doubled to four pilots and four air crew in order to respond to the growing demand,” Mr Jones said.

“The past weekend’s missions required 13 engine hours within a day, which is outstanding for the local service in such a short period of time.”

The rescue service has been based in Tamworth for 15 years and has seen 25,000 people flown for urgent medical treatment.

The Westpac service earlier won a new 10-year contract to provide aero-medical services to northern NSW, but Mr Jones said ongoing support from the community was needed to ensure future operations continued.

“Our budget is about $15 million, but the government provides 45 per cent and we have to raise the rest through the generosity of the community. That is why support from businesses, workplaces and a little bit from a lot of people really adds up and allows us to continue this vital service,” Mr Jones said.

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His modeling photos got him noticed, but didn’t show one thing: He’s deaf

Nyle DiMarco of Frederick, Md., is the first deaf contestant to appear on “America’s Next Top Model.” (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)To hear Nyle DiMarco tell it, his rapid rise in the modeling world has been pretty much accidental.
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He once did a casual shoot with a photographer friend, but nothing came of it until a few years ago, when an independent film producer persuaded him to try his hand at acting and modeling. Soon enough, he had an agent in Los Angeles and a guest-starring role on ABC’s “Switched at Birth.”

Then, last November, he got a message from the casting directors at “America’s Next Top Model.”

Intrigued by his photos on social media, they contacted him throughmodels南京夜网and asked whether he’d be interested in auditioning for the show. But until they got his sample video, there was something they didn’t know — like his two brothers, his parents and two more generations of DiMarcos before him, the dark-haired, blue-eyed model is deaf.

“They asked me, ‘How would this work?’ ” DiMarco says, signing energetically to an interpreter during an interview. “Do you need an interpreter with you the whole time?”

The 26-year-old from Frederick, Md., who has heard these questions before, had ready answers. No, he wouldn’t always need an interpreter. And yes, it would work. He knows because he has been successfully communicating with hearing people all his life.

DiMarco, 26, says that his rapid rise in modeling is mostly accidental. Fascinated by cryptography and majoring in mathematics at Gallaudet, he first aspired to be a math teacher for the deaf. But now he has visions of modeling for Hugo Boss. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

And so, with less than a year of professional modeling experience, DiMarco was cast as the first deaf contestant on “America’s Next Top Model,” the 22nd — and possibly last, if you’re reading hostTyra Banks’s tea leaves— season of which premiered Wednesday on the CW.­ He joined two other area contestants, Mame Adjei of Silver Spring, Md.,and Stefano Churchill of Virginia Beach.

After his performance on the first episode,TVLinepegged him as the “most intriguing hopeful.” But on-screen, Banks scolded him for smiling too much and agreed when fellow judge Kelly Cutrone called him “goofy.”

So it’s not clear what the future holds, but from the start, DiMarco says, he didn’t want to be “the ‘pity party’ person” on the show or “the token deaf person on reality TV,” although he says he felt that some of his fellow contestants might have seen him that way. It didn’t faze him — it just isn’t what he’s used to, having grown up in a tight-knit deaf community. Apart from one year in the fifth grade, he attended deaf schools all his life, ending up at the District’s Gallaudet University, the world’s only liberal arts college for the deaf. Most of his schoolmates, like him, were the children of deaf parents.

In many ways, DiMarco says, growing up deaf “was easy.” His family adheres to the outlook, embraced by part of the deaf population, that deafness is a unique difference — that the deaf are like a language minority or an ethnic group — rather than a disability. His parents supported him in all his pursuits, and he rarely worried that his opportunities would be limited.

From left, contestants Nyle DiMarco, Stefano Churchill, Devin Clark, Justin Kim, Dustin McNeer, Mikey Heverly and Bello Sanchez attend the “America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 22 premiere party presented in West Hollywood, Calif. (Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Nylon)

His biggest role model growing up was his math teacher at the Maryland School for the Deaf, who he says always related to his students as equals. So perhaps not surprisingly, DiMarco majored in mathematics at Gallaudet and once planned to become a math teacher for the deaf himself. He was most fascinated by cryptography, the study and practice of communicating through symbols (otherwise known as the technique Benedict Cumberbatch masters as Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game”). After all, encryption, much like sign language, is about conveying messages in code.

But now those mathematical visions are behind him as he harbors hopes of modeling for Hugo Boss and gracing the cover of GQ magazine. He arrived back in Washington this week fresh from an event at New York Fashion Week: Men’s hosted by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in New York, where he modeled a sleek light-blue suit from Hvrminn’s Eponymovs line.

In modeling, DiMarco considers deafness a strength. “American Sign Language requires a lot of facial and body expression,” he says. “The way [deaf people] communicate is naturally very expressive and shows a lot of emotion.” Seeing with “deaf eyes,” he adds, helps him pick up on nonverbal subtleties and makes him more attuned to what photographers want. He rarely has an interpreter with him during photo shoots, relying instead on lip-reading, body gestures and typing notes on a phone to communicate.

Sure enough, watch him at a shoot and you’re struck by his ease before the camera. Under dramatic professional lighting, he’s all smiles and thumbs-ups. Working wordlessly, he and the photographer seem to understand each other perfectly: a forward flick of the wrist tells him to take a step back, a point of the finger directs him to stand on a chair. And when the camera starts clicking, DiMarco matches it like clockwork, each tilt of the chin and brooding smolder executed as if it had all been choreographed beforehand.

DiMarco, 26, says that his rapid rise in modeling is mostly accidental. Fascinated by cryptography and majoring in mathematics at Gallaudet, he first aspired to be a math teacher for the deaf. But now he has visions of modeling for Hugo Boss. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

‘Ialways feel like I’m at home,” says DiMarco, who calls his persona before the lens “macho.” “When I’m shooting, it’s really like my playground.”

This model isn’t just all about his career, however. He hopes that his prime-time gig will change people’s perceptions of the deaf community so it won’t be “shocking” in the future when a deaf person struts down a runway or appears on TV. He wants to combat the assumption that deaf people are always in need of help.

“Switched at Birth,” in which he guest-stars as a friend of one of the main characters, is one of the shows pushing against that misconception. Following the lives of two teenagers, one deaf, who were mistakenly given to the wrong families as newborns in the hospital, it’s the first mainstream TV series to feature scenes shot entirely in sign language.

But “Switched at Birth” is an exception in the entertainment industry, which still suffers from a dearth of deaf participants — a fact that has hardly gone unnoticed in the deaf community. Earlier this year, aNew York Daily News interviewwith Catalina Sandino Moreno, a hearing actress who plays a deaf mother in the movie “Medeas,” sparked outrage that led to a #DeafTalent movement on social media.

DiMarco joined the backlash on YouTube,calling outdirectors for casting hearing people in deaf roles. “We know what is real here,” he signs in his video, comparing the practice to choosing a white person to play a minority character (see Emma Stone in “Aloha”). Things haven’t improved much since 2009, when the New York Theater Workshop featured a hearing actor as the central deaf character in its production of “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.” That prompted Linda Bove, a deaf actress on “Sesame Street,” todenounce the decision in the New York Timesas “tantamount to putting a white actor in blackface.”

So change is slow in coming, but DiMarco isn’t discouraged. He urges aspiring deaf models and actors to “own your identity. Love who you are in the world. Love your deafness.”

He’s happy to help lead the way. He’s never going to be shy, DiMarco says, about what makes him different. “Oh hey, and Tyra Banks?” he signs at the end of his “ANTM” audition video, a wry grin on his face. “I look forward to teaching you some new signs.”

The Washington Post

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Tributes flow for city leader

COMMUNITY STALWART: State Governor Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce presents Barry Maney with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) at Government House in 2013. HAPPY TIMES: Barry Maney with his most trusted friend, his dog Rusty.
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MOUNT Gambier businessman and philanthropist Barry Maney OAM will be remembered as one of the city’s most influential identities of the past 50 years.

The founder of the Barry Maney Group died on Friday aged 72 after battling illness.

Barry will be remembered as a prominent business and community leader who contributed significantly to the city’s social and economic wellbeing.

He was the catalyst for the development of Regional Foodbank Mount Gambier, which has had a profound impact in helping to feed the hungry, disadvantaged and the poor.

Barry also spearheaded the unprecedented bi-annual fundraising luncheon for the region’s homeless and was a much-loved patron and first ticket holder of the West Gambier Football Club.

As a sign of respect, West Gambier football club members wore black armbands during their matches on the weekend.

The West Gambier flag was also flown at half-mast on Saturday at Vansittart Park, which was where he played football as a young man.

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Big bunch of brollies send the white message

GUNNEDAH GO: White Ribbon women, from left, Kelly Donnelly and Krysten Barros (from K&K), world record attempt organiser Debra Hilton, Fonda Blackwell from Gunnedah Shire Council and Lisa Davies of Gunnedah PRAMS, are leading the way in the brolly brigade.GUNNEDAH is out to set a new world record to highlight the fight against domestic violence.
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And that message will be laid out in a big way when an anticipated 3000 people gather to form a massive umbrella mosaic in the shape of a white ribbon in the town in November.

If successful, the event will not only send out the non-tolerance of domestic and family violence message in Gunnedah, but also make the Guinness World Record Book, according to organiser and resident Debra Hilton.

“The current record is 2480, registered only this week in Orlando, Florida. But we’re going to blitz that, I know we can,” she said.

To qualify for the record, participants must hold a white umbrella upright for at least 30 seconds while the event is being recorded using aerial photography.

Ms Hilton added that one in three women will experience physical or sexual assault in her lifetime. In Gunnedah, over 240 incidents of domestic violence are recorded annually. But nationally, only one in three women tend to report these incidents to the police.

“That suggests that the prevalence of domestic and family violence in Gunnedah is much higher, and we need to remember that these women are our sisters, mothers, girlfriends, wives, daughters, work colleagues and friends. Most endure their pain in silence.”

Statistics show violence against women is at epidemic proportions in Australia, and over a 12-month period, an average of one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence as reported in a news release by Melinda McCulloch, chair of the Domestic and Family Violence committee.

The world record attempt will be held at Donnelly Fields in Gunnedah from 10am to 2pm on November 8.

“I’ve been fortunate in that Gunnedah Shire Council has agreed to be a partner, and the local Crime Prevention Committee and Gunnedah Domestic & Family Violence Interagency are also supporting me.

“The event will be of a serious nature, but we want it to also be a fun day for everyone.”

Ms Hilton has created a Facebook Event page (Gunnedah White Ribbon Guinness World Record Attempt) and is encouraging the community to “like” the page to track the event’s progress and check out how to get involved.

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Bumps in the night: Meteor’s sonic boom rouses city from its sleep

THE meteor shower responsible for the almighty “boom” that shattered the peace yesterday morning is expected to peak tonight.
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Slumbering locals were given the rudest of awakenings about 1.30am when a mysterious explosion over Tamworth rattled windows and shook foundations.

Suspecting foul play, shocked residents took to social media in droves to discuss the noise in anticipation of the emergency services sirens, which never came.

Just before 3.30am, the Oxley Local Area Command issued a statement saying it had received “numerous calls” of concern from people right across the city.

“Police patrolled several areas of Tamworth in response to these calls, however, no damage was located,” the statement read.

“At this time, it is believed the explosion can be attributed to (an)unknown falling object, possibly a meteorite.”

Tamworth taxi driver Ryan Newberry said he witnessed a “shooting star” while driving in the South Tamworth area.

“The main part of what I saw was white/gold with a green tail, and the bits falling off the tail were orange,” he said.

Astronomer Dave Reneke said, from the eyewitness accounts, he could confidently say the explosion was a sonic boom caused by a meteorite.

He said each year about this time the Earth passed through debris – known as the Perseid cloud – emanating from the Swift-Tuttle comet.

Mr Reneke said the meteorite would likely have been only about the size of a cricket ball or baseball and detonated 20 to 30 kilometres above Tamworth.

“The rocks come in about 30 to 40 kilometres a second and a lot of heat builds up and they basically explode,” he said.

“You get a sound wave associated with that and a flash of light. When they explode, they are extremely loud – like the loudest clap of thunder.”

Mr Reneke said anyone hoping to find the smouldering remains of a meteorite in a paddock somewhere would be sorely disappointed.

“This would have more than likely blown itself to smithereens,” he said.

Mr Reneke said the Perseid meteorite shower would be at its most spectacular tonight or early tomorrow morning, but the chances of another sonic boom were extremely slim.

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Problem deep-rooted within Parliament

SUSTAINED adverse pressure over her rorting of travel allowances caused the speaker of the house to resign, but still the expenses saga continues.
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This seems to suggest the problem is deep-rooted and contagious within Parliament.

To address the problem, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced a “feel-good” root-and-branch review of parliamentary entitlements, which is a prevaricating misdiagnosis of the real sickness and will not cure this morbid affliction of the mind.

Any bush doctor worth his salt would diagnose this communicable complaint as “purse pride” – very contagious, but not affecting everyone.

First identified in the 1600s among the ruling political elite, it is brought on by sudden wealth and extravagant entitlement in the absence of real distinction and is characterised by a puffed-up appearance and arrogance.

There is no cure and it may be zoonotic.

Should the complaint get into a mob near you, heavy culling is the best remedy.

Rob McIlveen


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